Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 March 2020 Hebrews 5:8.

Hebrews 5:8.    ​Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.
 
Awright mih bredrin, it’s Saturday, so let’s get busy! And I hear a hoarse groan and sad chuckle, as they ask: ‘Busy doing what eh? The same boring things we’ve been doing for the last how long?’ And I have to answer: ‘I guess so. What else yuh going to do eh? Go out the street and walk around, go to work, go to the park or the supermarket? Yes and no to all of them!’ (smile) Ah friends, it’s indeed a sad time, but also a rather important time of learning; of learning to get along with ourselves, our families and the world around us. 

This time of isolation isn’t just for helping us to stay healthy, but also for learning the Lord’s most important attribute; that of LOVE! For it’s LOVE that truly keeps us going: LOVE for ourselves, our friends and families, the world, and most importantly for God! And I believe our LOVE tank was very near empty, especially in our reverence for God, that’s why we’ve found ourselves in this untenable situation. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s proceed to consider the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one is certainly interesting: ‘If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?’ Now that’s a very good question. And I’m being the devil’s advocate here, understanding the operative words to be ‘can do.’ (smile) If you are a believer and God gives you something you can do, why not do it eh? And I guess most of us have no real, sincere, justified answer. We might have a lot of excuses, but no good reason to not do His will. It’s not like He’s given you something that seems impossible. And even then, please remember that our wise and wonderful God, NEVER gives us anything to do without the wherewithal to do it. Matter fix! 

And this next quote is tied into the first: ‘You can’t fulfill your calling in your comfort zone!’ And that’s a fact! For our calling always requires us to get up off of our fat fannies and do something that takes some effort. You can’t just lie back and expect to do what is expected without some blood, sweat and tears. Please remember these reassuring, but also galvanizing words from Jesus: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) 

Now when you add those marvellous words of our Lord and Saviour to the facts above, that God never gives us something to do without giving us the tools to do them through the awesome power of His Holy Spirit, then we should have no hesitation in getting up and doing what we’re called to do, since we have the assurance and strength of our omnipotent Triune Deity! That leads us into this next quote: ‘If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.’ That’s gospel truth my people! 

And we not talking about Jesus’ comment that what you put in you won’t defile you, but what comes out of you. (Matt. 15:17-20) But we’re referring to the dreams and desires and plans that the Lord has put in your personal portfolio. Yes, the Lord has a special and separate plan for each life He creates, and unless we fulfill that plan, we’re doomed to an unfulfilled life that could eventually include spiritual destruction and hellfire. That’s why it’s oh so important to know, and to hold on tightly to these words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil (calamity), to give you an expected end (a future and a hope).’ (Jer. 29:11) 

Oh friends, if we don’t know that scripture and believe it with every fibre of our being, then we have nothing to really serve as a proper foundation and give us the hope and faith to carry on regardless of whatever happens. And in effect, our lives would have been worthless. But when we accept the Lord promises and all that he has to offer then our lives blossom and good fruit is produced for His kingdom. For as the next quote tells us: ‘I survived because the fire inside me burned brighter than the fire around me.’ 

And that’s more awesome gospel truth my believing brethren! We can only conquer this evil world when the fire in us burns brighter and hotter and longer than that of the world! And remember Jesus said that the world is full of tribulation but in Him we can find peace since he’s overcome hell death and the grave… And all His followers declared a loud and proud: ‘Thank You Jesus!’ And John reassures us of this fact when he reminds us: ‘Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them (the spirits of the antichrist): because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4) 

Mama Mia! That’s why the fire inside believers burns brighter than that that’s in the world: our Lord and Saviour, through his Holy Spirit dwells within us and He’s a million times stronger and hotter than Beelzebub who rules over the world! Thus we come to this last quote: ‘Grow through what you go through.’ And that’s the motto for the true believer. You can only grow when you go through something that flexes your muscles; physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Without a testing of our strength and endurance, there is NO GROWTH! 

So for those of us who want to grow in faith and do great things for Christ without going through some rough and struggling times, forget it. Even Jesus, though he was the Son of God went through serious ‘sufferation.’ As Hebrews so plainly puts it: ‘Though he were a Son, yet  learned he obedience by the things which he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.’ (Heb. 5:8-9) Yes my people, we can only learn obedience by going through things that challenge our sinful fleshly nature. 

And remember that Jesus though God, was also fully man, so His man side had to learn by going through tough times. And that’s why now, since He knows and has experienced the same things we experience, He is fit and capable to sit beside the Father’s throne and advocate on our behalf. Yes, living a life for Jesus is not easy, but following His obedient example and with His strength and power, we can become good and solid Christians and make this evil world a better place! Much LOVE!

…only a few of us will suffer like Jesus…but ALL of us will suffer some…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 26 October 2019 Matthew 19:26.

Matthew 19:26.    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.
 

Now that’s what a beautiful autumn morn looks like! Yeh friends, the glorious sun is shining brightly on the multicoloured leaves, reflecting God’s variety of wonderful colours, and showing that He too can like beauty, just for beauty’s sake! (smile) Ahh! And it’s Saturday too, and the ole fella got up late, but that’s the beauty and purpose of Saturday eh? (smile) Saw the clock, thought it was eight, but it was actually nine. Hn! That’s what happens when you go to bed in the wee hours of the morning. Anyway, let’s see what inspiring quotes our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

Hear this first one: ‘I didn’t get there by wishing for it or hoping for it, but by working for it.’ And that’s usually true! Most of us get where we are by working our way to the top of the ladder. Unfortunately though in this lazy, turbulent society of ours, where the work ethic is almost dead, a lot of people want to, and expect to rise to the top of the heap by merely wishing and hoping. They simply don’t realize the necessity for blood, sweat and tears in the accomplishment of anything. And also the fact that we appreciate stuff more when we work for it. Look at the vast number of those who don’t work for what they have, who don’t truly appreciate it, and lose it quite soon thereafter. Think of the Lotto players, and those who receive enormous windfalls from their deceased relatives. 

And this second quote is challenging: ‘Think progress, not perfection.’ Yes mih people, many times we seek perfection in our search for progress, but progress does not have to always mean perfection. It’s quite alright to make progress without it being perfect. Once we’re moving forward, that’s the important thing. Remember too, that not many things, and NO people, are perfect in this fallen world. Now listen to this next quote: ‘When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.’ 

And that’s the awesome truth my believing brethren! The winds of change are always blowing in our world. That’s one of the few things we can be certain of in this life; things will change whether we want them to or not. And what makes the difference is whether we build walls to try and keep out the changes, or if we do things that will help us yolk those changes for our benefit. Like in the rest of life, it’s all about attitude. 

And I can personally testify to that because I don’t like many of the changes that are currently taking place in our society, especially with the social media thing, but I’m not trying to build walls around it to protect myself, I’m just trying to use it astutely (smile) to enhance my purposes. I can’t get away from it, or change it, so why battle it? And it’s like that in all phases of life. We have to learn how and when to choose our battles, and understand when it’s wiser just to go along for peace and the Lord’s sake. (smile) 

That leads us to the next quote: ‘It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’ And I guess that’s somewhat true, because if we look at all the varied species of life that have become extinct it’s because many of them could not adapt to the changes that were happening in their lives, in their habitats. But it’s not easy to change when your habitat is changing because of outside influences. That’s why we have the scary talk these days about climate change. 

Mankind has made so many of God’s creations extinct by changing their habitat, and now we’re in the process of making ourselves extinct by the way we’re destroying the Eco system, the carefully planned and synchronized work of God. Listen friends, our planet and all therein is a finely tuned and balanced machine. God left nothing to chance. And when we disturb anything, it causes repercussions in all areas. So let’s wake up and smell the roses nuh. If we continue in today’s careless manner of destroying our planet, then we too will eventually become extinct. 

And here’s the last quote: ‘The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.’ And the first name that comes to mind is Jesus! Yes friends, He was probably the craziest of us all! He came to earth in what we’d now call a backward time, chose twelve uneducated men and sent them out to change the world. The disciples must also have been somewhat off their rocker to believe Christ’s words and accept such an impossible looking challenge. But yuh know what? They indeed changed the world! That’s why today we’re still talking about Christ and heaven and hell and all that godly stuff! 

The fact is that they had certain assurances, and they believed them. I guess the first and biggest assurance was Jesus when talking to them about a camel passing through the eye of a needle said: ‘With man this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.’ Ah mih people, that’s the basic foundation, and until we believe that, like those disciples did, we won’t be able to make any worthwhile improvements or changes in our lives or our societies. And then Jesus inspired them with acclamations like: ‘Ye are the salt of the earth…Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’ (Matt.5:13,14,16) Yeah friends, they believed that and went out and did what Jesus desired, and were successful, as we very well know. 

And we’ll end with these last words of Jesus to the puzzled and unsure but ever-faithful disciples. ‘Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt.28:19-20) And they took those fateful words, what we call the Great Commission and ran with them to all and sundry people and parts of the world, especially when as Jesus promised the Holy Ghost came and indwelt them in a fiery display of power on Pentecost Morn.  

Now that same baton has been handed down to us, and we have many more tools to do the work than those disciples had, so why are we so reluctant to take up our task and do it eh? Are we too sacred, or not crazy enough? That’s for us to work out individually with God! Much LOVE!

…if you are a Jesus follower…then the impossible…is in your power…

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2019 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.    ​Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a (the) rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock.
 

Well it looks like it’s going to be a cloudy, ‘riney’ kind of day in my neck of the woods…at least that’s how it’s begun. But we all know that could change by mid morning and the sun could explode out of the sky in a terrible tantrum of heat and light that has us begging for mercy! (smile) Hopefully the sun will come shining through later, but not in such a striking and unpleasant manner. 

In the meanwhile, hear this fabulous promise from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin. This one’s called ‘A Family Pledge.’ Please pray and promise with me: ‘We will permit God to use our conflicts and mixed emotions as lessons in quiet growth. With LOVING patience, without ridicule or judgement, we will support each other in the gradual untangling of built-in defenses. We will focus on each other as persons made in the image of God. 

We will seek to please rather than to pressure, to delight rather than to demand, to give rather than to get. We will share the humdrums as well as the highlights, the tears as well as the laughter, the defeats as well as the victories. We will not insist on perfection – rather we will anticipate growth. 

We will not compete for the mountaintop, rather we will climb the mountain together. We will wait for each other if one of us gets behind. We will lift our hearts in a celebration of gratitude for God’s amazing LOVE, which makes our family LOVE possible. We will LOVE each other as we do these things.’ 

Oh my fellow believers, what wonderful sentiments and promises! Wow! Can you imagine if only the Christian families truly decided to instill those values and plans and promises, how wonderful our world would be! The family would return to its rightful place in society as being the most important unit. Then the unbeliever would really know what a true Christian is like, because all that we’ve promised above is merely Christianity 101! 

Yes, it’s all about LOVING each other, putting each other first, letting go of resentments, of competition, and instead seeking togetherness, of sharing, both the highs and lows, the joy and tears, growing together. As it so strongly states: it’s all about ‘lifting our hearts in celebration of gratitude for God’s amazing LOVE, which makes our family LOVE possible!’ 

And is that ever so true! It’s only God’s amazing LOVE flooding through our hearts, souls, bodies and minds that makes a true family LOVE possible. But yuh know the most important word in that last sentence friends? It’s GRATITUDE! Yeh people, we’re not truly thankful for God’s LOVE, otherwise we’d gladly share it with each other. 

And gratitude, more than anything else is what’s sadly missing in our world! We’re not a very thankful or grateful society anymore. We’ve become so selfish and greedy, envious and jealous, that there’s no room left for thanks, or rather sincere thanks in our society. And the sad part is that that undesirable attitude is also present in Christ’s body, the church, much much more than is called for. 

And the Bible Promise for that reading is also our Bit for today; the wise words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the two foundations of life. ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a (the) rock: and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock. 

And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt.7:24-25) Oh my people, Jesus couldn’t have put it any clearer than that! 

And I just have to share the scholars’ explanation of those verses. ‘7:24-27. In drawing His concluding illustration of the two foundations, Jesus begins with the word therefore. On the basis of all that He has taught and illustrated, He concluded that all who both hear and do His sayings shall be saved. As a great master Counsellor, Jesus reminded His listener that hearing this message alone will not change his life. He must both hear and do what Jesus has said. 

The elements of the closing illustration are drawn from the simplicity of nature itself, the rock, the rain, and the winds. The man whose house collapsed was at fault, not because he failed to labour, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrines of men as opposed to “these sayings” vs.28.’ 

Oh precious people of God, what more can I say eh, except to warn us about building our lives on the right foundation, for that’s what holds our spiritual houses up in time of adversity and storm. And the ONLY foundation available in this degenerate world, that’s strong enough to withstand calamity and storm is Jesus Christ! As Bruh Paul so wisely put it to the Corinthians: ‘For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.’ (1 Cor.3:11) And that’s gospel truth friends! 

So please, as we go about our business to day, I implore us to seriously consider what foundation we’re building our lives on, and if it isn’t on Jesus, then please change quickly, for we know not when the storms of adversity will suddenly come and knock down our houses built on shifting and sinking sand. 

And with those words of wisdom frothing in our hearts, souls, bodies and minds, let’s go home declaring (steups!) our Wednesday Wail, letting the world know of our wonderful position in Christ Jesus. All together now: ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! 

Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And I have to remind us friends, that if we hold that righteous and positive course in Jesus, then the future will indeed be even more glorious than our puny minds can ask or imagine! Much LOVE!

…nothing built on a foundation of sand can withstand the elements for long…but anything built on the rock…Jesus…can withstand the elements…forever…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 13 July 2019 Matthew 13:57.

Matthew 13:57.    ​A prophet is not without honour, save (except) in his own country, and in his own house.
 

Oh my people, you’ll notice that the Bit is rather early today. (smile) That’s because I went to bed fairly early last night, slept through the night and got up early this morning! Brother! No fun in that at all. (smile) Neither was there any fun in what was supposed to be my last radiation treatment yesterday…

Steups! What a fiasco! Especially since I had a whole entourage (smile) (3 people) there to witness and record the end circumstances for posterity. Chuh man! But I guess it just wasn’t in the Lord’s plan for me yesterday, possibly because I was too vociferous and boastful early on in the Bit. Who knows? 

But everything that could go wrong went wrong; with both bowels and bladder, so we had to cancel the last treatment until Monday. But what yuh going to do eh? If that’s the Lord’s will, then you just have to grin and bear it. Anyway, it’s Saturday, so let’s turn to the quotes that our friend Anselm sent us this week, as he aspires to inspire us for a better tomorrow. 

And the first one says: ‘Don’t find the fault, find the remedy.’ Now I’m going to play the devil’s advocate here (smile) by asking, if there’s no fault, then how can there be a remedy eh? But most likely he means that so many of us like to complain and find fault, that instead of always focusing on the problem, we should more often focus on the solution to the problem. 

And that’s the gospel truth, especially in this feeble and fragile world of today that’s littered with more complaints than anything else. We complain about everything, find fault with everything, and are never satisfied, even when we get what we asked for. But that’s just the world eh friends, not we believers in Christ…Hn! I wish! 

Now the next one is similar to the first: ‘The goal of an effective leader is to recondition your team, to be solution focused and not problem focused.’ The same thing applies here, except to leaders. They must be focused on finding solutions, not dwelling on problems, because as they go, so will their followers. So if a leader is always harping on the problems, more likely than not the followers will be doing the same, and no organization can grow and thrive unless they are all looking to the positive side of the ledger. 

And the third quote tells us: ‘To handle yourself, use you head; to handle others, use your heart.’ I’m not sure I understand what he means there, but I’m supposing that in looking after your own interests, you should use your head, head knowledge and wisdom, but in dealing with others, it should all come from your heart, in a godly and generous manner. 

Now if that’s what he means, then there is a fair amount of truth in it, but please friends, in this greedy, deceitful and fraudulent world, we can’t always let out godly hearts and intentions run away with us, since people are liable to take serious advantage of the goodness of our nature. 

The world’s not as trustworthy as it once was, and contracts and agreements nowadays are meant to be broken. There is always some fine writing that you never look at that let’s them off the hook. So please make sure that your head is looking out for your heart. 

And the last quote tells us: ‘Great things never came from comfort zones.’ And that’s the living truth! No one who’s ever done great things has ever done it comfortably sitting in their living rooms. They always had to go out on a limb, take a risk, face disappointment and seeming failure, as well as condemnation from friends and families. 

Just read the stories of people like Thomas Edison, who gave us the light bulb; Walt Disney, who was touted as failure in his early years, but look at what he created. And look at Henry Ford. Yuh think he had it easy building his cars. Not on your life. But the greatest example of them all is our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! 

Just look at how he moved from being the God and creator of this world to being a humble, lowly man, born in a manger, not even a palace, but a smelly animal barn. Then grew up as a carpenter, and no, he didn’t have all the power tools that we have today, so it was hard, physical labour all the way. 

Then when He began His ministry, it was as an itinerant preacher, as He told the scribe who wanted to follow Him. “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.’ (Matt.8:20) Not only didn’t He have a permanent place of residence, but He was also mocked and scorned by those around Him, the very ones he had come to save. Even His family didn’t believe in Him. 

And yuh see how they treated Him in His own hometown of Nazareth after He read the scripture from Isaiah and intimated that it related to Him. They all got hot and bothered thinking that the carpenter’s son, whom they all knew growing up was getting a bit uppity, taking such airs and graces upon Himself and tried to throw him off a cliff. ‘But He passing through the midst of them went on his way.’ (Luke 4:16-30) 

And it was in His own hometown of Nazareth that Jesus mouthed these words of immortal truth. ‘A prophet is not without honour, save (except) in his own country, and in his own house.’ How true that is my fellow saints in Christ. Many a great person has been looked on with disfavour by those close to them. And strangely enough, Nazareth was one of the very few places that Jesus did no miracles or mighty works, simply because of their unbelief. 

And we don’t have time to talk about all the unfair, and unjust ‘sufferation’ that Jesus endured so that He could build the greatest body, the most powerful organization the world has ever seen, the Christian church, which has lasted for over two thousand years, and is set down to last until eternity. 

So friends, if we want to do great things, we can’t only sit down and talk about them, we have to get up off of our comfortable fannies and put in the blood, sweat and tears required of every great and or lasting achievement; just like Christ did! And please note, He did it all on our behalf. 

He didn’t have to, but the Father asked, and being the obedient Son that He was, He got up off His comfortable rear end in heaven and came down to the hellhole we call earth and selflessly and sacrificially suffered to atone for our abominable sins and bring us into reconciliation with the Father. Now that is indeed the greatest deed ever done on this earth! Please acknowledge and respect it like you ought to. Much LOVE!

…doing great and worthwhile stuff…requires…great and worthwhile effort…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 5 October 2018 Proverbs 4:26.

Proverbs 4:26.    Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

 

And I can see all the joyful smiles and hear all the joyful conversation simply because it’s Friday, and the working population has only the upcoming weekend on their minds. What a way our attitudes can change from one day to the next, when something that seems good is on the horizon. Wish we could have that joyful attitude come next Monday morning. (smile) 

And there is no stopping the ordinary workingman come Friday morning, for he will sing his song, come hell or high water. ‘TGIF! Thank God is Friday mih breddren! The weekend come…and while it brings joy to our lives, it brings tears to the slave massa’s eyes, because he has to pay us for not working for two whole days! Glory be! 

You wouldn’t know how that eats away at his thieving sinful soul. But God is good…and fair too. And after plenty fighting and dying we finally get some days off with pay. Wow! And as always, we going to party hearty and celebrate that fact, because we entitled to enjoy the fruits of our labour! Thank God for Fridays and weekends oui!’ 

Ah friends, the workingman does make some good points in his song, but just goes too far out on the limb in pursuit of the ripest, juiciest fruit. Yes my brethren, there is inherent danger in pursuing that at the edge of the limb, it’s liable to break more easily, because it’s usually smaller and more brittle out there. And when the bough breaks, you’ll fall, and down will come cradle, baby and all. (smile) 

And as that pertains to our Christian faith walk, it means allowing the enemy to get into our lives and settling in to spoil them, and have us walk away from Jesus, rather than with Him. Now that’s one thing we definitely don’t want to happen, and the best way to avoid it is to stay away from what appears to be the juiciest fruit at the edge of the limb. 

We need to erect some boundaries as to how far we’re going to go, so that we don’t invite the enemy into our lives. That’s why our Friday Chant is different from the workingman’s song, with more circumspection and awareness of the pitfalls of unbridled carnal living. So let’s chant our Friday Chant nuh, with even more enthusiasm than the workingman, because we know that we have Jesus on our side. Glory to God! 

Altogether now: ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Ah friends, to live sincerely for Jesus means always being aware of the world around you and its constant efforts to make you succumb to its evil ways. But we’re blessed, for Jesus’ Holy Spirit that dwells within us warns us of the pitfalls. Oh, we don’t always pay attention to, or take heed to the Holy Spirit’s advice, so we have no one else to blame but ourselves, when that unwise attitude gets us into trouble. 

That’s why Cousin Sol warns us in our Bit and beyond: ‘Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.’ (Prov.4:26-27) And that jells nicely with these words of the Lord spoken through the prophet Isaiah. ‘And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.’ (Is.30:21) 

Yes friends, anytime we veer off the straight and narrow path that Jesus advises us to follow, we will hear His Holy Spirit calling us back to it, for the broad way of the world only leads to eventual destruction. As Cousin Sol further declares: (Chuh! Spelled it wrong again). ‘For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth (weighs, observes) all his goings.’ (Prov.5:21) 

So please don’t foolishly believe that we can do stuff that the Lord doesn’t see, because His eyes are always on our goings and comings. That’s why we have to pay close attention to the warning against disobedience in Hebrews: ‘Wherefore lift up (strengthen) the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way (dislocated); but let it rather be healed.’ (Heb.12:12-13) 

And the scholars explain: ‘12:12-13. Some of the runners of verse 1 have grown so weary that they have become stooped and need spiritual strength to be straightened up again. They must be given help, yet they themselves also must strengthen their paths by avoiding obstacles that would spiritually trip them up.’ 

Yuh see friends, neither the Lord, nor our fellow man can or will do everything for us. At some stage of the game we need to strengthen ourselves, pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and set out eyes firmly on that straight and narrow path. 

And here’s a fitting end from Hebrews to today’s message. ‘Follow (pursue) peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.’ (Heb.12:14) So let’s be wise and try our best to do that nuh my people! Much LOVE!

…there’s only ONE way to stay on the straight and narrow…keep your eyes fixed steadfastly on Jesus…

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 17 July 2018 Matthew 7:24.

Matthew 7:24.   Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock.

And yes, a savage thunderstorm hit my area early yesterday evening and cooled down the heat and humidity some! I have to laugh though, because I went out on my front porch to check it out, but could only stay a couple of minutes as the wind soon began blowing the rain in on me and the incessant lighting wasn’t too appealing. Let’s hope that today is not as hot and humid. 

Anyway, today I want to share something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin, something appropriately titled ‘A Family Pledge,’ and it’s oh so appropriate to individual families as well as the family of Christ, His church. 

Please pledge with me. ‘We will permit God to use our conflicts and mixed emotions as lessons in quiet growth. With LOVING patience, without ridicule or judgement, we will support each other in the gradual untangling of built-in defenses. We will focus on each other as persons made in the image of God. 

We will seek to please rather than to pressure, to delight rather than to demand, to give rather than to get. We will share the humdrums as well as the highlights, the tears as well as the laughter, the defeats as well as the victories. We will not insist on perfection – rather we will anticipate growth. 

We will not compete for the mountaintop, rather we will climb the mountain together. We will wait for each other if one of us gets behind. We will lift our hearts in a celebration of gratitude for God’s amazing LOVE, which makes our family LOVE possible. We will LOVE each other as we do these things.’ 

Oh friends, can you imagine the joy, especially in heaven, the goodwill, the glorious relationships in our cruel and evil world if we were to put those pledges into real action! And the sad part is that they don’t represent anything new, it’s just what we’re supposed to be doing all along, what we know we’re supposed to do but simply aren’t doing, 

That’s why Jesus died; so that we could be one big, happy and righteous family! Instead we’re allowing the prince of darkness and his evil cronies to invade our families and Christ’s church and turn them into dens of devilry. How sad my people! 

And the Bible Promise for that poem is also our Bit; immortal words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: ‘Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a (the) rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a (the) rock.’ (Matt.7:24-25) 

My friends and fellow believers, have we built our houses, both literally and figuratively on a rock? I certainly hope so for all our sakes, especially the figurative house that wisdom dictates must be built on the rock that’s Jesus in order for our souls to survive. 

Now listen to Jesus as he details the other side of the equation. ‘And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.’ (Matt.7:26-27) 

Unfortunately my brethren there are way too many of us who have built and are still building our lives and our houses on sinking sand; meaning not on the words and instructions of Jesus. Now that’s a seriously irresponsible and foolish way to go, for Jesus is the ONLY way to a secure, sincere and eventual eternal life with our magnificent and magnanimous Maker and Godhead. Anything else is simply foolishness and not true. 

But hear the scholars. ‘7:24-27. In drawing His concluding illustration of the two foundations, Jesus begins with the word therefore. On the basis of all that He has taught and illustrated, He concluded that all who both hear and do His sayings shall be saved. As a great Master Counselor, Jesus reminded His listener that hearing this message alone will not change his life. He must both hear and do what Jesus has said. 

The elements of the closing illustration are drawn from the simplicity of nature itself, the rock, the rain, and the winds. The man whose house collapsed was at fault, not because he failed to labour, but because he did not lay the proper foundation. The shifting sand represents human opinion and the doctrines of men as opposed to “these sayings” (vs.28).’ 

Ah mih people, please let us not be numbered amongst those who have laboured hard, but have built their lives on the wrong foundation; the opinions and doctrines of mortal men and not those of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, our Rock and safe place of Refuge. 

And for those of us who have built wisely, let’s go home now declaring to the world who and whose we are in our Tuesday Mantra. In strong voice with sincere hearts: ‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Glory be my people! Now let’s go out and do what we’ve just pledged; share Jesus’ LOVE and friendship with the world. Much LOVE!

…to LOVE…to LOVE…and yet to LOVE…that is the truly Christian way…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 11 February 2018 Psalm 33:1.

Psalm 33:1.   Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.

And as the first day of the week rolls around again, let us gladly make our weekly pilgrimage to the House of God! There to meet in joyful fellowship, with praise and thanksgiving flowing from our lips and hearts, as we listen to His holy word and renew His Spirit within us. As I said the other day, there’s nothing as moving and monumental as a group of true believers gathering to offer up thanks and praise to our heavenly Father. 

Now please don’t allow the snow, rain, or other physical circumstances to stop you from going to the Lord’s sanctuary, for you will miss a great time, where believers encourage each other and the Spirit of the Lord is in the house rejuvenating everyone. So let’s get the praise and worship going by singing another old faithful, ‘Abide with Me.’ 

Apparently it was written by an eccentric curate, Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847) ‘haunted by the phrase, repeatedly muttered by his close friend, William Le Hunte, as he lay dying.’ Lyte wrote the hymn to its own tune, but it is now sung to the tune of ‘Eventide,’ a composition of the organist William Monk. 

It’s supposedly based on the scripture Luke 24:29, where the two disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus but did not recognize Him, and as the daylight was drawing to a close, and they came to where they would spend the night, they constrained, petitioned, Jesus: ‘Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.’ 

Now let us, in our own way, invite Jesus to stay with us until time everlasting. In strong voice and humble hearts let’s offer up the sacrifice of praise that our Lord enjoys hearing so much. ‘Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me. 

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see. O Lord who changes not, abide with me. I need your presence every passing hour. What but your grace can foil the tempter’s power? Who like yourself my guide and strength can be? Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me. 

I fear no foe with you at hand to bless, though ills have weight, and tears their bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, your victory? I triumph still, if you abide with me. Hold now your Word before my closing eyes. Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee; in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.’ 

And there is no one better to undertake that task than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! Now here are a couple of interesting comments on the hymn. One Erik Routley calls it a hymn that “looks death in the face” and embodies the human craving for companionship in extremis.’ So what of that eh? Though we know that all of us must face death, it’s till the hardest thing for us to come to terms with. 

So if we have something that gives us comfort under the circumstances, why not cling to it? And besides, God made man to fellowship with Him and each other, so there is a built in need for companionship. (smile)  

It’s also been noted that ‘the change to the singular pronoun is what gives the hymn its comforting emotional intimacy.’ That means the change from the disciples ‘abide with US,’ to the hymn’s ‘abide with ME.’ Whatever makes it more comforting yes! 

And all of the above dovetails very nicely with our Bit. ‘Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely (beautiful) for the upright.’ Ah friends, that is exactly what our Sunday gatherings are about: rejoicing in the Lord, giving Him beautiful and comely praise in His house.  

Now that doesn’t mean to say that it’s only in a building with several people is rejoicing and praise possible. Shoot no! Praise can be done anywhere, at any time, by at least one person! Our God doesn’t care so much about when, where and by how many He gets His praise, once He gets it on a regular basis from His children. 

That’s why Bruh Paul warned the Ephesians, and by extension modern day believers: ‘And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess (dissipation), but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.’ (Eph.5:18-21) 

Yeh mih people, as true believers, we ought always to have a song of joy in our hearts towards our wonderful heavenly Father! And it’s only fitting that we end with some more of the Psalm from which our Bit is taken. ‘Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise (shout of joy). The word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He LOVETH righteousness and judgement (justice): the earth is full of the goodness (LOVING-kindness) of the Lord.’ (Ps.33:2-5) 

And isn’t that the gospel truth my brethren! Wow! That’s why we ought to rejoice and give thanks as much as possible! So as we go to the sanctuary today, or worship wherever, let’s try and keep that joy, that rejoicing in the Lord’s goodness actively bubbling in our hearts nuh. For remember, the joy of the Lord is our strength. Much LOVE!

…if you’re not giving God regular and sincere praise and thanks…then you’re not a true believer…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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